Holiday in the Sun

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Sometimes the best gift is a family getaway. Whether you’re traveling with toddlers, teens, grandparents, or in-laws, these Caribbean retreats offer a balance of ocean and jungle adventures, plus endless opportunities for relaxation.

The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba

Guests get a taste of authentic island hospitality at the Ritz-Carlton, where 90 percent of the employees are locals. The hotel, which opened in November 2013, is set on Aruba’s palapa-dotted Palm Beach. Nearly all of the 320 rooms have balconies; and even the most basic feel bright and spacious. A kid’s program keeps little ones occupied with everything from movie-making classes to conservation-minded activities focused on coral reefs. The hotel partners with Red Sail Sports to offer kiteboarding and scuba diving; and thrill-seekers can try Jetlev-Flyer, a water-powered jet pack that shoots users 30 feet into the air. From $449, Ritzcarlton.com

 

Secret Bay, Dominica

Fulfill your Swiss Family Robinson fantasies when you book a bungalow or villa at Secret Bay. The two-bedroom Zing-Zing villa was designed for two couples or one couple with two kids (over the age of 12). There’s no restaurant. Instead, room kitchens can be stocked; a chef delivers meals of mahi mahi and creole shrimp; and guests can learn to make yam pie during cooking classes. Dominica’s topography makes it a hiker’s paradise. Tackle the six-hour trek to the world’s second-largest hot spring. For something less strenuous, take a boat tour of the Indian River, a nature reserve featured in the Pirates of the Caribbean films. From $488, secretbay.dm

 

Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort, Anguilla

Anguilla’s famed Malliouhana hotel has recently reopened after a two-year remodel by Auberge Resorts. The 44 rooms and suites have been updated in pale yellow and cool aquamarine colors, with subtle touches that evoke the glamour of the 1950s. Families should request the two-bedroom suite, which sleeps up to six people. The resort is known for its location, perched on a bluff above Meads Bay, which is great for snorkeling, and the secluded Turtle Cove beach. Now, guests can also cool off in a two-tiered infinity pool. Other additions include a 15,000-square-foot spa, an open-air Cliffside restaurant, and a rum lounge. From $525, malliouhana.aubergeresorts.com

 

Belle Mont Farm, St Kitts

belle-mont-farm-smallThe opening of Belle Mont Farm set a new bar for organic dining in the islands. The hotel, part of the new Kittitian Hill community, has one-bedroom guesthouses and four-bedroom farmhouses spread out over 400 acres of working farmland. “Pick me” signs signal when the fruit is ripe to be plucked by guests. Original crops have been preserved as natural obstacles on the “edible” 18-hole golf course. The heart of Kittitian Hill, an area called The Village, offers visitors a chance to mingle with locals at food stalls, restaurants, and a weekly farmers’ market. Guesthouses from $800; farmhouses from $7,500, kittitianhill.com

 

Queen’s Gardens Resort, Saba

If you’re a beach bum, Saba isn’t for you. The tiny Dutch-Caribbean island is an extinct volcano that is virtually sand-free. Nature lovers are drawn here for the island’s unspoiled beauty, protected reefs that offer world-class diving, and challenging hiking. Trails start at the driveway of the 12-suite Queen’s Gardens Resort, a whitewashed Dutch-style hotel high up on Troy Hill. Go it alone; or if you want to learn more about the local flora, fauna, and island history, ask the concierge to arrange a trek with local guide “Jungle James.” After a day of adventure, unwind with a steam or a sauna at the hotel’s spa. From $220, queensaba.com

 

Sugar Reef Bequia, Grenadines

Unsure if Sugar Reef Bequia is right for you? Take the hotel’s online “Go or No” test. Guests expecting air conditioning should stay home. Those who like “dancing with locals and tasting exotic fruits” should book now. Ideal for a grown-up getaway (guests must be 18 or over), the hotel is set on an old 18th-century coconut plantation that borders the beach. The estate’s two original buildings hold eight guest quarters. Local fishermen and farmers supply the restaurant with ingredients for sides such as lobster tori. Get to know the island on a hike with a local historian or over Ti’ Punch with the hotel’s bartender. From $150, sugarreefbequia.com

 

Piet Boon Bonaire, Bonaire

Flamingoes strut through salt ponds, and wild donkeys roam the dirt roads of Bonaire, which lies 50 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Stay in one of the nine villas dreamed up by Dutch design icon Piet Boon. Set along the waterfront just outside of Kralendijk, Bonaire’s capital, the four-or five-bedroom villas start at a roomy 3,600 square feet and have sybaritic touches such as oversize hammocks and private pools. Your villa manager can arrange kite-boarding lessons or a family sailing trip. For a dose of culture, visit the Museo Boneriano, an old plantation house filled with island artifacts. From $4,500 per week, pietboonbonaire.com

 

Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle De France, St. Barts

The third property in the LVMH Hotel collection, Isle de France is set on one of the island’s prettiest beaches, the palm-fringed Baie des Flamands. The debut of the hotel’s three-year makeover revealed new interiors in neutral colors and vintage French fabrics. All 40 villas, bungalows, and suites have garden or ocean views. Families should splurge on a three-bedroom Villa Flamands, which comes with a screening room. Every month the hotel hosts a poolside pop-up lounge. Craving even more glamour? Book the Big Blue Escape, an all-day yacht tour of the island. From $760, Villa Flamands; from $7,500, stbarthisledefrance.chevalblanc.com/en

 

Pacific Island Retreats for Families with Kids

Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui
This new all-suite hotel has a cultural ambassador who can arrange hula lessons for kids and historic tours for families. From $795, montagehotels.com

Halekulani, Oahu
One-thousand-square-foot Diamond Head suites have lanais with Waikiki Beach views. AFAR Collection hotel, from $520; Diamond Head suites from $2,200, halekulani.com

Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, The Big Island
Request a renovated beachfront room for easy access to Kauna’oa Bay, where kids can snorkel, stand-up paddleboard, and boogie board. AFAR Collection hotel. From $550, princeresortshawaii.com